Linguistics and Exegesis in the Gospel of Mark: Application of a Case Frame Analysis and Lexicon
Wong, Simon S. M., Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
(ProQuest Information and Learning: Foreign text omitted.)
Linguistics and Exegesis in the Gospel of Mark: Application of a Case Frame Analysis and Lexicon. By Paul L. Danove. JSNTSup 218. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001, 248 pp., $82.50.
Written by Professor Danove of Villanova University, this monograph is one of his many attempts to apply Constructional Grammar to the analysis of the NT text. The seven chapters of the book may be divided into two parts (chaps. 1-2, 7, and chaps. 3-- 6), which probably reflects more my understanding of its layout than that of the original author.
The first two chapters describe the methodology involved, Constructional Grammar, which is basically a further development of Case Theory, first theorized by the renowned American linguist Charles Fillmore in the 1960s. Different from classical transformational grammars which often assume an abstract deeper structure to an observable surface structure, Constructional Grammar (as representative of a nontransformational trend) accounts for linguistic relationships through the concrete, observable constituents of the sentences. "Constructional Grammar describes the grammar of a language in terms of grammatical constructions that identify a particular set of sentence elements and detail the syntactic and semantic constraints on these elements" (p. 16).
In his model, Danove employs three levels of analysis to Greek verbs (including a predicator such as ... and prepositions in the Gospel of Mark. Syntactic analysis describes the number of mandatory constituents (called "arguments") and optional constituents (called "adjuncts") required by a predicator. Semantic analysis describes the semantic roles (sometimes called thematic roles or semantic cases/functions) that "arguments play in representing the state of affairs designated by a predicator" (p. 21); accordingly, a set of 27 well-defined roles, with illustrations from the Marcan text, are utilized for this level of characterization (pp. 30-45). Lexical analysis describes how each constituent is realized lexically and is labeled according to traditional categories, such as Noun and noun phrases), Prepositional phrases), Adverb and adverbial phrases), and ADJ(ective and adjectival phrases). All these analyses are represented through a framework (called a Valence Description), which shows the attributes "of the possible arguments and adjuncts that can be placed in a dependency relationship to that predicator" (p. 20). Chapter 7 entitled "Lexicon and Parsing Guide" accumulates the results of all the analyses with classification. In essence, these 90 pages serve well as a reference to the semantic mapping of the predicator-argument relationship in the Gospel of Mark.
The second part (chaps. 3-6) demonstrates the application of such analysis to the Gospel of Mark. Chapter 6 addresses the general contributions of the lexicon and parsing guide. …